Howden acquires SPF Private Clients

International insurance brokerage Howden has announced it has acquired SPF Private Clients, subject to regulatory approval.

This will extend the firm’s offering to the mortgage broking market, while enhancing its existing general insurance and wealth management proposition.

Following the purchase, SPF will join Howden’s UK and Ireland business to further establish its position as a leading independent insurance distributor in the region, with Mark Harris (pictured above) remaining as CEO.

SPF was formed in 2011 after a management buyout and rebrand of Savills Private Finance — the financial arm of Savills — before Cabot Square Capital acquired a majority stake in the business in 2018.

The firm specialises in residential and commercial mortgage broking, commercial real estate insurance, HNW personal lines insurance, property title insurance, life assurance and associated wealth management consulting.

Deloitte acted as financial and tax due diligence adviser and RPC as legal adviser to Howden for this transaction, while SPF shareholders were advised by KPMG Corporate Finance.

Meanwhile, HSF and Taylor Wessing acted as advisers for Cabot Square Capital and its management shareholders.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mark said: “SPF and Howden are highly complementary businesses that focus on providing the best solutions to our clients, while always putting our people first. 

“SPF will benefit from the significant opportunities that being part of Howden will deliver, with a big drive into offering our debt product lines across the group. 

“We will carry on doing what we do best, ultimately enabling us to develop products to best serve our clients, while allowing our talent to flourish.”

Carl Shuker, CEO at Howden UK and Ireland, commented: “SPF is a stand-out business in its sector and is a strong addition to our Howden UK and Ireland business. 

“Both businesses share cultures that are founded on entrepreneurialism and empowerment, and both are passionate about delivering the very best outcomes for our clients. 

“With SPF, the recent acquisition of A-Plan and the upcoming completion of Aston Lark, Howden UK and Ireland will be a leading end-to-end insurance distributor capable of supporting all of our clients, whatever their insurance and mortgage needs, underpinned by market-leading digital and data capability.”

Chris Evans, deputy CEO at Howden Broking Group, added: “Howden and SPF have a long-established trading relationship, so SPF joining the Howden family is a natural next step in our partnership. 

“Its unique qualities will greatly enhance our offering in the region by diversification into complementary product distribution that will further position us as a leader in our home market.” 

Tarun Sharma, partner at Cabot Square Capital, stated: “It has been a privilege to partner with Mark and the SPF team.

“Since we backed SPF in 2018, the business has strengthened its position as the leading UK property, insurance, and wealth intermediary for affluent and HNW individuals, maintaining its differentiated relationship-led approach, while underpinned by significant technology investment.

“We are delighted with the outcome and are confident SPF will continue to thrive as part of Howden.”

Last year, Howden announced its acquisition of Aston Lark which, combined with its existing UK business, is set to create a full-spectrum British brokerage.

Leave a comment